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The National Academies

NCHRP 08-124 [Active]

Quantifying the Impacts of Corridor Management

  Project Data
Funds: $450,000
Staff Responsibility: Lawrence D. Goldstein
Research Agency: Metro Analytics
Principal Investigator: Michael Brown
Effective Date: 6/12/2019
Completion Date: 9/16/2021

­BACKGROUND

The integration of transportation planning and land use is critical to ensuring sustainable corridor functionality and surrounding growth. Corridor management can provide that integration and inform state departments of transportation (DOTs) and regional, and local decision-making.  It can be difficult, however, to assess and quantify the impacts of corridor management in a manner that state, regional, and local officials find compelling.

Many states and regions have designated corridors of significance, but long-term planning for coordinated management of these corridors is lacking.  The absence of wide-spread coordinated planning might relate to the difficulty of achieving collaboration among numerous affected agencies and institutions coupled with limited availability of tools necessary to help reach consensus on complex issues.  Research is needed to fill this critical gap—moving beyond current practices by identifying methods to quantify impacts associated with corridor management to support improved, proactive, coordinated planning and decision-making.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this research is (1) to produce a framework for measuring the impacts of corridor management, demonstrating applicable strategies and techniques; and (2) to develop guidelines for how to implement that framework. This framework should focus on multi-jurisdictional corridor-wide transportation and land-use planning that affects community and economic vitality. It should reflect a desire to maximize public value by implementing programs for effective infrastructure improvements and investments at a corridor level. In addition, it should provide guidance for state DOTs, regional, and local transportation and land-use planning agencies, working together with both public and private stakeholders, to coordinate development planning and infrastructure investment in multi-modal passenger and freight transportation networks. The framework should include, at a minimum, the following:

1.    A working definition of what a corridor is, what is meant by corridor management, and a description of how that definition has evolved;

2.    A delineation of the primary components of a corridor management program and how those components address measuring public value and sustainability;

3.    A description and review of current experience, including existing tools and techniques used to measure impacts and implement a corridor management program in support of various planning and management objectives;

4.    A matrix or other organizing technique that can be used to classify the variety of corridors as a basis for the framework; and

5.   Recommendations for models and/or strategic approaches to measure impacts (quantitatively and qualitatively) and integrate current practices with potential changes that can occur, taking into account risk and uncertainty in long-term planning and forecasting methods.

The framework and guidelines are intended to supplement FHWA’s Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) program which is directed toward transportation system operations and performance on corridors using technology and intelligent transportation systems (ITS).  In contrast, this research will focus on transportation system corridor management as a proactive transportation and land-use planning activity with an emphasis on maximizing public value while implementing effective infrastructure investment strategies. 

RESEARCH PLAN

Proposers are asked to present a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective.  Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time, including an indication of how proposed research will make use of and build on current requirements and practices.  These practices include guidance on performance management, asset management, and other mandated programs.  Proposals must demonstrate in sufficient detail an understanding of the issues and a sound approach to meeting the research objective, including prioritizing critical issues.  It should also include a review of other related studies in general and NCHRP research studies in particular. 

The research plan should address building a framework that encompasses a broad range of measures required to evaluate impacts of corridor management. It should define what constitutes corridor management and what factors need to be considered to develop an analytical methodology for impact measurement.  The analysis should address issues linked to community and economic vitality of a corridor. It should identify and consider existing practices—what has worked and has not—and it should describe how organizations and institutions at various levels would apply existing or develop new models and strategic approaches to measure impacts on affected communities and other stakeholders. In support of the analysis, the research team should include stakeholder outreach to help define relevant issues, procedures, strategies, and techniques.

The framework should be flexible to allow  users to integrate changing technologies, demographic consumer choice models, freight supply chains, and fiscal opportunities and constraints. It should also build on other completed or ongoing research to be effective and timely.  In addition, the framework should describe methods to assess and compare overall economic health and sustainability of corridors that have developed with or without corridor management plans in place.

The research plan for building the framework should be presented as a two-phase effort and should describe specific detailed tasks for each phase, including interim and final deliverables. 

Phase I

In Phase I, the research team will delineate steps in formulating a framework to measure corridor impacts, including a definition of the elements of corridor management and components whose impacts can be measured. Work accomplished in Phase I should define the programmatic steps involved in evaluating corridor impacts, identify types of data needed and related metrics as well as additional supporting information required to demonstrate how this framework can be implemented. Work in this phase should also propose an approach to validate the impact assessment program in Phase II. 

The products of Phase I will include an interim report presenting a detailed framework for developing the impact assessment methodology: a review of known and anticipated issues, a summary of current applications and information required, methods for acquiring that information, and an annotated outline of a proposed guidance manual or handbook for agencies responsible for implementing the program. As indicated, the interim report will also include the detailed scope of work for preparation and testing of the methodology in Phase II. The NCHRP panel will meet with the research team at the end of Phase I to review the interim report prior to moving on to Phase II. NCHRP approval of the interim report is required before proceeding with Phase II. 

Phase II

Work in Phase II will demonstrate how to apply the framework to measure the impacts of corridor management and validate its usefulness and applicability through a workshop or other means to engage practitioners.  The validation process will help refine and improve the impact analysis framework. 

Products of Phase II should include:

1.    The supporting guidance, tools, or other innovative resources to enhance implementation of the framework;

2.    A discussion of strategic approaches to and risks associated with corridor management;

3.    A detailed plan on how to translate the framework into a corridor management program for application in future implementation and research; and

4.    Recommendations for disseminating the research results, including presentation materials to enhance dissemination and decision-making.

The research plan should build in appropriate checkpoints with the NCHRP project panel including, at a minimum, (1) a kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the contract’s execution date; (2) the face-to-face interim deliverable review meeting to be held at the end of Phase I; and (3) at least two additional web-enabled teleconferences tied to NCHRP review and approval of any other interim deliverables as deemed appropriate.

Note: The cost of teleconferences, in-person meeting venue, and NCHRP panel member travel will be paid by NCHRP.

Final Deliverables

Final deliverables will include at a minimum:

1.    A guide for quantifying impacts of corridor management;

2.    A final report that documents the entire research effort, including recommendations and/or prototypes for additional analytical methods and tools;

3.    A stand-alone executive summary that outlines the research findings and recommendations;

4.    A presentation aimed at local, regional, and state DOT staff and senior management that simply and concisely explains why the framework and supporting materials are helpful and how they will be used; and

5.    An executive-level brochure/infographic highlighting findings of the research to facilitate dissemination to a broad audience.  

Final deliverables will also include a stand-alone technical memorandum entitled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.” 

STATUS: Phase I of this study is now underway.

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